Monday, October 18, 2021
Oct. 18, 2021

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Former Idaho lawmaker in court on rape charge

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BOISE, Idaho — A former state lawmaker made his first appearance in an Idaho courtroom on charges that he raped a young legislative intern earlier this year.

Aaron von Ehlinger attended the court proceeding before Ada County Magistrate Judge John Hawley through a remote video connection Wednesday morning. Von Ehlinger waived the formal reading of the charges against him — rape and forcible penetration by use of a foreign object, both felonies — and the judge set a preliminary hearing for Oct. 29.

“Aaron’s just anxious to have this process run its course,” said his attorney, John Cox, later that day. “We intend to fight these allegations vigorously, and he’s looking forward to his days in court.”

Von Ehlinger was a Republican state representative from Lewiston when a 19-year-old legislative intern reported that he had brought her to his apartment under false pretenses and raped her. At the time, von Ehlinger denied all wrongdoing and maintained he had consensual sexual contact with the woman. The Associated Press doesn’t name people who say they have been sexually assaulted unless they agree to be publicly named.

A legislative ethics committee found that von Ehlinger engaged in “behavior unbecoming” and said they would support a vote to remove him from the Idaho Statehouse. He resigned from office before the vote was held.

Von Ehlinger has not yet had the opportunity to enter a plea.

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